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Kosovo is known for its very fertile and uncontaminated lands, suitable for cultivating various food products. Despite these advantages, Kosovo is not producing enough for the domestic market, nor is it exporting enough abroad. This was stated during the debate on "Food and Safer Products", which was held in Gjilan/Gnjilane on Thursday and attended by field experts and many business representatives.
Free Trade Expert, Naim Huruglica, said that Kosovo is not doing well with exports, as the export-import ratio remains with an enormous margin of difference. "In 2018, Kosovo has imported over 700 million euros of food. It means that we spend around 700 million of euros in food every year. Some of it we can produce and even export. It is not that we don’t know, or that we can’t, but the question is how to use the potential that we have, the laws we have, the opportunities offered by foreign donors, because what we are doing today is also an assistance, a kind of information sharing with you, in order to have as much information about what we can as possible,” he said.
Vitomir Fister, EU Support to the Free Movement of Goods Project Team Leader, said that the project gives precedence to product quality and safety. "Our Project was designed to help you provide an infrastructure for and develop your private businesses. We are here to help your economy. We work on improving infrastructure quality... You should ask yourself which are obligations that need to be fulfilled, and technical regulations rather than standards will tell you that. Yet, technical regulations do not work without some standards, so it is standards that support technical regulations. We should always check all the requirements that we make through conformity,” he said.
Director of Department of Agriculture in the Municipality of Gjilan/Gnjilane, Ramiz Ramadani, said that Kosovo has dependable products that should be relied on more than on imports. At the same time, he proposed decentralization of grants and subsidies from the central to the local level.
The debate on the scope of agriculture in Kosovo was conducted within the framework of the Support to Communication in European Integration Process Project, funded by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of European Integration.